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Florida commission seeks mooring ordinances

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to work with city and county governments on the best way to regulate boats that anchor outside of permitted mooring fields. Currently, local ordinances for anchoring are unenforceable outside of mooring field boundaries.

The FWC is collecting letters of interest until Nov. 13 from those local governments that have an interest in establishing mooring ordinances. Of those governments, the FWC will choose five locations throughout the state to participate in a pilot program.

The five sites will be selected before July 1, 2011.

"We want to engage all local governments to consider this," said Maj. Paul Ouellette, leader of the FWC's Boating and Waterways Section, in a statement. "It is important to promote boating rights and accessibility, but it is also important to protect the marine environment and maritime property, and reduce the number of abandoned or derelict vessels. We hope this pilot program will help us shape uniform and consistent regulatory regimes that do not overburden the recreational boater."

The FWC will submit a report on the pilot program to the governor and state lawmakers by Jan. 1, 2014.

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